- APC denies attempt to move polls, says Tinubu will win
- Sanwo-Olu announces 50% fare cut on all state-owned transport services
- We don’t want your stadium, you’re unstable – Atiku campaign blasts Wike
- Keep using old notes, Tinubu will change policy if elected – el-Rufai
- INEC urged to quickly remove Lagos REC over anti-Igbo comments
Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:
APC denies attempt to move polls, says Tinubu will win
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied pushing for a postponement of the 2023 elections, saying its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu will win.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka issued a rebuttal on Wednesday, describing a report of the alleged plot as “blatantly false and reckless”.
Morka said the publication offers no substantive justifying content aside from the “intended purpose of misleading and causing needless anxiety and speculations”.
He described the election as a matter of extreme national importance bordering on national security and corporate integrity of Nigeria, which should not be subjected to “insensitive speculation by the media or any institution”.
The APC said under President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership, it continues to wage “the most extensive and vibrant campaign” for presidential candidate Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
The ruling party said it’s in contrast to the incoherent campaign of opposition parties “that have placed nothing before the electorate except their vile merchandise of lies, innuendoes and hate propaganda against the APC”.
The statement said the President has left no one in doubt as to his unshakable commitment to bequeathing a befitting legacy of a credible, free, and fair election.
The APC told Nigerians that its government enacted unprecedented electoral reform and innovation that has placed our country in good stead to deliver 2023 polls and bolster democracy.
“We stand ready for the general election, and remain confident that Nigerians will overwhelmingly renew our mandate in a peaceful, free, and credible electoral contest”, Morka asserted.
Sanwo-Olu announces 50% fare cut on all state-owned transport services
The governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a 50 percent cut in the cost of all state-owned transportation services.
The state’s transportation services include bus rapid transit (BRT), Lagos ride taxis, ferries, and other modes of transportation.
The gesture is in response to the continuing petrol and cash shortages that have placed citizens of the state in severe difficulty.
Some civil society organizations (CSOs) took to the streets of Lagos last week to protest the lack of cash at ATMs and financial institutions.
In a similar incident, the Lagos branch of the All Progressives Congress (APC) suspended its campaign operations on Tuesday due to the present fuel crisis and ongoing countrywide cash constraint.
Sanwo-Olu stated on Wednesday, in response to these occurrences, that the state will lower transportation fees and provide food banks in vulnerable areas to “cushion the effects of what our citizens are facing.”
Read also: Seyi Makinde deploys free ‘Omituntun’ transport buses to cushion the effect of fuel scarcity and naira shortage
“I have directed that from tomorrow (Thursday), on all of our Lagos bus system, all of our BRT buses, on all of our LAGRIDE taxis, all our ferries, boats, and LASTMA buses, and small buses we have in the state, that they should be carrying passengers at 50 percent of the current fare,” he said.
“This will continue to happen using their Cowry cards and we want to further make Cowry cards available for all willing citizens. We have over 3 million cards out there that are being used, we believe we will make them a lot more available.
“So, for the next one week, passengers will enjoy a 50 percent discount from tomorrow morning.
“You will also see us distributing food items, foodstuff that we are making arrangements for. And we have tens of thousands that are already ready and we will be identifying various locations in which we will be distributing these food packs so that we can cushion the effect on all our citizens.”
We don’t want your stadium, you’re unstable – Atiku campaign blasts Wike
Wednesday, the Rivers State branch of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rejected the state governor’s permission to hold its presidential campaign rally at the Adokiye Amesiamaka Stadium in Igwurit-Ali, Port Harcourt.
Recall that Wike, who had a falling out with Atiku after the conclusion of the party’s primary election last year, had denied granting the venue consent.
On Tuesday, while addressing a PDP governorship rally in Ogu, Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of the state, the governor announced the facility’s reapproval.
In response to the current permission, Dr. Leloonu Nwibubasa, spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers State, stated that the Atiku campaign was no longer interested in the facility.
The spokesman, speaking on a radio show in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, stated that the Council can not accept Governor Wike’s statements at face value.
According to him, “We learnt that yesterday he (Wike) announced that the stadium has been restored and that he has rescinded his decision.
“But let me state this very clearly, the Presidential Campaign Council of Atiku is no longer interested in Governor Wike’s greek gift.
“The said stadium that he revoked for reasons that he gave based on intelligence. May I ask, has he reversed those intelligence report?”
Keep using old notes, Tinubu will change policy if elected – el-Rufai
Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, has asked traders in the state to continue using the old naira notes for their transactions.
Speaking on Tuesday at a meeting with the traders in Kaduna, el-Rufai said if Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is elected, he will review the naira redesign policy.
“Stop changing your money and tell everyone to stop taking money to banks. If you sell anything, accept the old note if it’s given to you. Stop saying it’s only the new notes that you will accept because your market will stop and that is what they want,” he said.
“Tell everyone in Kaduna who has the old notes to spend them and buy items. Tell every trader to accept the old notes.
“Nasir el-Rufai, Uba Sani, and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu promise you that if we (APC) are elected, this policy will be changed and everyone will be given sufficient time to change their money.
“Stop taking your money to banks, keep them with you. Nobody can make your money to become worthless. It is the law; nobody can do it.
“It’s just a matter of time; be patient. We have 18 days to the elections. Once the elections are over, you should expect what Asiwaju Bola Tinubu would say, which is the change of this policy.
“You should help us pass this message to relatives. Everyone should stop taking money to banks; continue trading with the old notes.”
INEC urged to quickly remove Lagos REC over anti-Igbo comments
Leaders of some Christian organisations in Lagos State have called for the removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state.
The group, Leaders After God’s Own Spirit Initiating A New State, wants the REC Segun Agbaje removed immediately over a recent comment he made during a live TV interview on Channels.
The REC was quoted to have given reasons why people in Okota, Oshodi Local Government Areas, cannot get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and inferred that the Igbos in the area were immigrants.
In a statement signed by Dr. Bolaji O Akinyemi on Wednesday titled: Conspiracy against Democracy: INEC REC; Segun Agbaje’s Outburst, Other Matters Arising, the group accused the INEC REC of being complicit in a plan to disenfranchise Igbos in Lagos.
“In a reckless political communication known only with thugs, he made it clear that the reason they cannot have their PVC is that many of them are from the South East part of the country, inferring that they are immigrants,” the group said.
The group also alleged that there is fear in Lagos about a possible repeat of the Inconclusive election as it happened in the Osun 2018 governorship election while Agbaje was the INEC REC at the time before his redeployment to Lagos.
“One could possibly have overlooked his transfer to Lagos as an internal issue to which the commission has the right but not after his uncharitable comment about Igbos in Lagos. On moral grounds, Segun Agbaje should by now be on his way out of INEC without a petition or protest. Agbaje is a stigma on the integrity of the Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC. INEC Chairman can’t keep a tribal bigot and nepotistic personality in his system and keep the integrity of his organization,” the statement read.
The group while dismissing any planned protest against the fuel and cash scarcity which it said is being instigated by those who crushed the #EndSARS protest in Lagos using the army, however, asked LAGOSIANS to rise against what it called injustice meted against the Igbos in Lagos.
The statement said: “The only protest acceptable for now is Segun Agbaje must go! Our only hope for a better and greater future is the grand national protest scheduled for the 25th of February 2023! Our placards being our PVCs, anything that will compromise the system to oversee a free and fair election must be gotten rid of.
“Agbaje has done it before and by his comment on the Igbos, the signs are obvious of what he is capable of. If Igbo will votes in Lagos, and their votes will count like that of every other tribe, then Agbaje must not remain INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos state,” it added.
Recall that INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, while announcing the extension of the deadline for the collection of PVCs nationwide last week, said the Commission is committed to ensuring that all Nigerian eligible voters get their cards.
He said this during a meeting with the RECs from the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
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